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Since the Great Recession, La Crosse County residents are better educated but bringing home less money, putting off marriage but having more babies, and more mobile but less likely to be foreign-born.

Those are some of the findings from Census Bureau estimates released Thursday detailing population traits observed over the past five years.

The surveys show more people are putting off marriage, though women are having more babies.

About 49 percent of men and 45 percent of women older than 15 in La Crosse County are married, down from 51 percent and 47 percent five years ago. Meanwhile the birthrate among unmarried women nearly doubled. Birth rates also doubled for women older than 35.

The overall birth rate in La Crosse County was identical to the national rate, but the teen birthrate is less than a quarter of the national average.

About 94.5 percent of the county’s adults (older than 25) had a high school diploma, up about 1 point, while the portion with at least a bachelor’s degree climbed from 28.8 percent to 32.5 percent.

The percentage of civilian veterans fell from 10 to 8.7 percent, mirroring a national trend as large numbers of World War II and Korean War veterans die.

People were slightly more mobile, with about 8 percent having lived in another county in the previous year, up from 6.7 percent in 2007 to 2011. That’s higher than the state or national average.

The number of foreign born residents went from 3.6 to 3.0 percent of the population, a drop of about 550 people. About 13.2 percent of the total U.S. population was born in another country.

More than 63 percent of those people were naturalized U.S. citizens, up from just 48 percent in the prior five year period.

The portion of people in workforce over the past five years declined from the previous five-year period, but more of those people had jobs. Median household income was about $51,500, down from $54,000 (in 2016 dollars) during the previous five-year span.

The number working in health care and private education services grew, while the number working in construction and manufacturing fell. No other sectors had statistically significant changes.

Home ownership rates fell slightly, though not enough to be statistically significant. The Census bureau estimates about 64.4 percent of the county’s homes are owner-occupied, slightly more than the national average but less than the state rate.

The number of people who own their homes outright grew to nearly 37 percent of the 30,000 owner-occupied units, while the median value of those homes rose from $151,900 to $158,700.

The estimates are calculated from surveys conducted between 2012 and 2016 covering economic, social and housing characteristics of the U.S. population. Known as the American Community Survey, the program was launched in 2005 to provide a more timely alternative to data formerly collected once every decade through the “long form” census.

While high-level results are published each year, the five-year samples provide the most accurate estimates about people and how they live at the county, municipal and even neighborhood level.

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Reporter

Rhymes with Lubbock. La Crosse Tribune reporter and data geek. Covers energy, transportation and the environment, among other things.

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